23 February 2017

Getting Your Strategy Aligned – Joining the Dots

As your organisation transforms, changes in the business brings a new set of communications challenges. So how should you go about bringing together a plan to inform, engage and motivate?

These are challenging times for organisations. Whether as a result of rapid growth, downsizing, or just trying to keep up with the market, transformation is never easy. It often carries with it multiple layers of strategy, projects and initiatives, all fighting for priority, not to mention new leadership battling with obsolete ways of working and cynicism from their people.

 

Once new structures are in place, the pressure is on to deliver results – fast! Comms teams are faced with the humongous task of getting everyone aligned to the strategy and doing what’s needed to meet the business objectives.

 

But how do you even begin to break free from the tactical hamster wheel and establish a coherent plan and set of clear messages that not only inform, but engage and motivate your people?

 

The three Ps

Time to take a step back, get everyone together in one room, have a cuppa and join the dots using the three Ps:

1. PLOT why, what and how – everything you have

2. PRIORITISE how – what needs to happen

3. PLAN when and who – a roadmap of activity

Easier said than done eh? Essentially, it’s about asking the right questions in the right order. Let’s break it down.

 

1. PLOT why, what and how

  • What are the overall business objectives/vision/values/strategic priorities and where does Comms fit in? These are all part of the bigger WHY that sits behind everything you do.
  • What challenges do you face in delivering against these objectives? For example – low engagement, inconsistent line management, inefficient processes, out of date tech…
  • How do you intend to overcome these challenges? What are the key areas of focus?
  • What are the desired outcomes for each focus area? What do you need your people to think/feel/do?
  • What are the success measures?

 

2. PRIORITISE how

  • What needs to come first?

Assign a hierarchy to everything you need to achieve in each focus area – starting with your high impact enablers at the top (the urgent ‘must-haves’ to get things moving). For example – employee insight, audience segmentation and channels audit might be at the top, whereas launching a new ESN sits at the bottom.

 

Coming at it from this angle helps you identify what really does need changing, versus a simple refresh, or what can be put to one side until the time is right to review it.

 

3. PLAN when and who

  • When can things feasibly happen and who is responsible?

We love a roadmap for plotting your agreed priorities against specified time frames.

 

There, that’s much less scary! Now you can assign a set of actions.

 

Top tips to take away:

  • Always start at the top with a joined up approach (HR and comms)
  • Think from the employees’ perspective – always put yourself in their shoes
  • Focus on the what and why
  • If you can’t answer the question, don’t guess, work out what insight you need and how best to get it
  • Keep it simple (avoid overload)
  • Relevancy is key for messaging – think “what’s in it for me?”

 

To find out how we can help you join the dots and help overcome your challenges, get in touch.

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